|Anika can stand SO WELL! She has really gotten the hang of it since I saw her last!|
|Grasping a toy! And then...|
|...transferring that toy to the other hand! This child is GIFTED! OMG!|
|Gotta touch my girl! Heart. Warm. xo|
|Holding Claire's hand... <3|
|My girl is HAPPY.|
|Lovies for Mrs. Pocket!!! (Sorry about the camera angle, Angelina...my bad! Though the guys will probably thank me!!! LOL)|
|Polly Ann feels like a giant here. :)|
|Anika was all up in Pocket's personal space!|
|(ignore Polly Ann's random glowing left Terminator eye... it is freakin' me the hell OUT!) And sorry for the Arnold reference. He's now on my shit list.|
|SO. FREAKIN'. LOST. in her eyes... OMFG. Cal loves Anika!!! He just kept telling me, "Mom, she is SO CUTE!!!!!!"|
|I LOVE HER! xo|
In addition, every "loss" (having to repeatedly hear, "She won't walk, she won't talk, she probably won't live to be 1, she is blind," yadda yadda yadda...) was just one more crushing blow, and I SO wanted to cling to every last "normal" thing I could, mostly for ME, selfishly. Though sometimes even now when I'm tired or hormonal (f'in' PMS!) or pissy or super stressed or deprived (LOL), those jealous feelings occasionally return... and usually I know that is when I need to look inward at myself, not at what the girls are somehow "lacking." In those quiet, peaceful, meditative moments, I focus on how PERFECT Claire & Lola STILL ARE, limited or not. I don't need them to walk to bring me joy... ditto talk, crawl, sit unassisted, smile, see, etc.
All that being said, YES, I DO occasionally wish sometimes that Claire & Lola were able to do some of those things. It would certainly be mind-blowing to see them walk in a walker or use their hands deliberately or smile in response to things I do or say... and I think that makes me appreciate kids who CAN do those things that much more. Hence, Anika having my heart COMPLETELY! But also, I know that my girls don't have to DO ANYTHING or ACCOMPLISH SOMETHING BIG (developmentally) for them to impact the world around them with their sweet spirits. I already love them with every fiber of my being ~ that happened as soon as I found out I was pregnant with them, and it grew a million-fold once I realized their genes were even more unique than most.
Everyone has their "thing," we have decided. With each diagnosis comes struggles, difficulties, things to watch for, concerns, fears, and disappointments. With further cognition comes more painful understanding vs. my girls who won't ever be able to respond appropriately to someone making fun of them or hurting them, not to mention possibly not even being capable of comprehending that type of pain. Walking and mobility (while f'ing UNBELIEVABLE to me) brings increased independence with associated risks (tumbling down stairs, running into traffic, parents basically being on "suicide watch" all day!) vs. my girls who basically stay put where I lay them (aside from Lola's bed base jumping escapades... Grrrrrrrr.....!). I could go on and on about the advantages and disadvantages of each scenario, but suffice it to say, we are all given EXACTLY the child(ren) we were meant to experience in this life. I personally do not believe it was an accident or a mistake that I was blessed with TWO profoundly affected daughters and one amazingly gifted son. Perfection... all three of them.
And to those well-meaning-but-clueless people who STILL continue to say to us frequently, "THANK GOD you have Cal..." Ummm, you guys can SUCK IT. Thank God we have Claire and Lola, too. They COMPLETED our family in a way I cannot explain. I have always loved the Garrison Keillor quote in my blog's side margin which states:
“Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known.”
I could not agree more.